Just thought some may be interested in the comparison in growth rates, size etc between the same plants in an indoor AP system and an outdoor organic veg' garden.
Background for comparison:
My AP system is a small indoor F&D system with a 1000w MH light over the top. It's a little over two months old, the water went in early August, but the first plants and fish went in mid August. It has well and truly cycled and I was harvesting lettuce after 4 weeks. The pH is kept between about 6.8 - 7.2.
My veg' garden had raw chook poop and composted cow manure (at a 1:4 ratio), plus some blood and bone, dug into the top 200mm. After digging in the poop, I covered the GB with lucerne hay and watered it everyday for a month before planting. I do this every spring and the veg garden is 4 years old, so worms etc are definitely well established. pH = ?... I haven't tested for two years... I've learnt to leave well enough alone.
All plants quoted in this comparison came from the same seedling punnets, some were planted in the AP system and the rest planted in the veg garden at the same time.
Celery comparison: In the first photo, the veg garden, the celery in the front of the picture is the biggest in the garden so far, it is 21cm tall and is just starting to form stalks. In the second photo you can the celery in the AP system is much larger and has some well developed stalks, it is 37+cm tall. (AP wins)
Spring onion: The spring onion in the veg garden are about 35 cm, nearly twice the height of those in the AP system (19cm max) and their leaves are also much thicker. (Organic soil wins)
Oakleaf lettuce: The large Oakleaf in the left of the veg garden photo and the large one in the right of the AP sytem photo were planted at the same time, they are comparible in size, but the outdoor organic one is denser, this is probably more to do with light I would imagine. The outdoor ones are good for a number of days in the fridge after harvesting, the indoor AP ones are more delicate and need to be eaten the same day, again probably the light I would imagine. The soil grown ones also have more flavour.
I must say though the AP system is definitely easier on the back.
Draw from this what you will, I just think it's interesting to compare.